The neons and outdoor bars of Patpong
Named after their previous owner (Chinese millionaire Khun Patpongpanit), the streets Patpong 1 and Patpong 2, adjacent to the busy Silom Road, make up one of the world’s most notorious red-light districts. It all started in the 1960s, when their bars catered to soldiers on leave during the Vietnam War, and gained popularity in the 1970s through tourism.
Its night market is now a major tourist attraction, with stalls selling original and fake fashions, and souvenirs. The stalls compete for attention with the neon signs of the bars, some of which leave their doors open so you can get a preview of what you can find inside (bored young girls serving as bait for the tourist baht). Today, visitors mostly pass by for the night market and to peek at the bars out of curiosity rather than to actually engage in the naughty (and sometimes illegal) activity.
Thanks to a strong police presence, the area is actually safe, but scams happen all the time.
The adjacent street Soi Silom 4 is the heart of the city’s gay scene, and offers similar entertainment, but this time with no women involved.
The night market and naughty bars of Patpong
How to get to Patpong
Take the BTS Skytrain to Sala Daeng station.